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Entries in Jose Baez (10)

Friday
Jun292012

Florida Police Tortured Casey Anthony, Lawyer Says in New Book

Red Huber-Pool/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Casey Anthony's jailers took her in shackles to a room where she was to be surprised by news coverage when police discovered her daughter's decomposed body, a tactic that her lawyer claims in a new book was "torture."

Attorney Jose Baez writes that police hoped to get a revealing reaction, possibly a confession, out of Anthony by shocking her with the news story and refused to let her lawyer see Anthony while this was going on.

"They sent someone to Casey's cell," Baez writes in his upcoming book.  "They shackled her legs and hands in chains, marched her to the medical unit, sat her down where there were several correctional officers and a couple of nurses standing around watching her, and forced her to watch the breaking news that police had found Caylee's remains so they could record her reaction."

The grainy video shows Anthony sitting in a waiting room.  There is no audio, but after she appears to hear something -- reportedly the televised news that a child's body was found in a swampy area near the Anthony home -- she puts her hands and forearms across her stomach, and begins to slowly rock backwards and forwards.  Her breathing seems to quicken and her chest can be seen rising and falling.

The remains were not identified as Caylee's until more than a week later.  In September 2011, a Florida judge unsealed for public view the tape that had previously been sealed in order for Anthony to get a fair trial.

On July 5, 2011, Anthony was acquitted of charges of first-degree murder, aggravated child abuse and aggravated manslaughter for the death of her 2-year-old daughter Caylee Anthony.  She was convicted of lying to law enforcement.

The circumstances surrounding the tape, which a Florida judge called "highly inflammatory," are detailed in Baez's book, Presumed Guilty, Casey Anthony: The Inside Story, set to be released on July 3.

"As soon as the police got to the site where Caylee's remains lay, Commander Matt Irwin, the head of missing person's unit, came up with the bright idea of calling the jail and asking if there was a room where they could take Casey and videotape her reaction to their finding Caylee's remains," Baez wrote.

Irwin was told Anthony could be taken to the medical unit where there was a TV and a camera that could record her reaction, according to Baez who claims police were hoping that Anthony would "say something, maybe flip out and confess."

Baez said he had rushed to the jail to see his client in hopes of breaking the news to her.  But when he arrived, authorities would not let him through the gate.  He was told that Anthony was being taken to the medical unit and he would have to wait to see her.

Anthony was inside being shown news coverage of the discovery of Caylee's remains.

"Meanwhile, oblivious to what they were doing, I was outside trying to get in while they were torturing her," he wrote.  "Clearly this was a violation of her right to counsel and what two of the correctional officers would later testify to be cruel and unusual punishment."

"To this day it was one of the cruelest and most disgusting things I have ever seen the cops do," Baez wrote.

Authorities later said that they had taken Anthony to the medical unit out of concern for her health and well-being.  Nearly an hour after he arrived at the courthouse, Baez said he was taken to Anthony.

Anthony has been in hiding since she was acquitted last summer.  She is on probation in Florida for a check fraud conviction, but the court ordered her location to be kept secret because of death threats she has received.  Her probation ends on Aug. 21, 2012.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jun282012

Casey Anthony's Great Escape Detailed in Lawyer's New Book

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- In the hours following Casey Anthony's frenzied release from jail, her defense team executed a movie-like getaway plan, complete with decoy vehicles, a helicopter chase and a stop at an all-night Steak 'n Shake for her first meal.

The July 17, 2011 scene was broadcast all over the country.  Anthony was scheduled to be released from jail at midnight and swarms of media and avid-trial watchers camped outside in the dark, harshly illuminated by TV lights.

What the public didn't see is what was going on inside the jail, now detailed in defense attorney Jose Baez's book, Presumed Guilty, Casey Anthony: The Inside Story, set to be released on July 3.

"She was wearing a dark pink polo shirt with jeans and some funky tennis shoes that had two-colored laces," Baez wrote.  "'Hey,' I said.  'Hey,' Casey said.  Looking at her sneakers, I said, 'What the hell is that all about?'  'They don't exactly have a shopping mall here at the jail,' she said."

Ten days earlier, Anthony had been acquitted of charges of first-degree murder, aggravated child abuse and aggravated manslaughter for the death of her 2-year-old daughter Caylee Anthony.  She was convicted, however, of lying to law enforcement.  Since she had credit for time served, the maximum sentence the judge could give her for the conviction was 10 days, which he did.

Baez and his team spent those 10 days crafting an escape plan for Anthony, a way to get her from the jail to the airport where a private plane would be waiting to whisk her away.

"There were too many crazies who were convinced she had killed Caylee while she danced the night away, and I feared for her safety," he wrote.  "In addition to avoiding an army of media, we knew we were going to also duck the surveillance of a half dozen helicopters."

The plan was to get Anthony into a car as quickly as possible before driving across the street to attorney Cheney Mason's building that had a multilevel garage.  There, they planned to have one car block the garage's entrance while a small fleet of cars waited inside.

Anthony and Baez would get into another car and all of the cars would leave the garage and head in different directions, leaving followers unsure of which vehicle Anthony was in.

"As soon as we walked out that door, I heard screams, the way teenagers screamed for Justin Bieber at one of his concerts," Baez wrote, describing the moment they exited the jail.  "I'm certain they were yelling 'Baby killer' and the like, but after going from total silence to the sound of insanity, neither one of us could make out a single word they were saying."

They got in the car and headed for the garage where they quickly switched vehicles, which was not as smooth as Baez had hoped.

"I opened the door, grabbed Casey's hand, pulled her out, and I was so hopped up with adrenalin, I forgot she was there and slammed the car door on her leg before she could even get out of the car," he wrote.

The vehicles took off from the garage and the plan worked, shedding all of their pursuers except for one helicopter.

A half-a-dozen helicopters over the airport prevented them from going there directly.  They went to a lake, parked in a wooded area and waited until the helicopter trailing them gave up and left.

With time to kill, the group went to an all-night Steak 'n Shake where Anthony had her "first meal of freedom" -- a cheeseburger, fries and chocolate milkshake.

Anthony and Baez eventually made it to the airport and took off for St. George Island, an island on the Florida panhandle near Panama City.  The defense team had rented a house on a secluded beach.

When the secret location was discovered by the press, Baez had Anthony moved immediately.

"I had one of my investigators drive Casey to New York," he wrote.  "While the entire national media was searching for her in Arizona and California, she was within walking distance of all of their offices."

Anthony has been in hiding since she was acquitted last summer.  She is on probation in Florida for a check fraud conviction, but the court ordered her location to be kept secret because of death threats she has received.  Her probation ends on Aug. 21, 2012.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Nov292011

Aruba Suspect Gary Giordano to Leave Island Before Appeal Is Heard

Goodshoot/Thinkstock(ORANJESTAD, Aruba) -- Gary Giordano, the lone suspect in the disappearance of his travel companion Robyn Gardner, is expected to be released from an Aruban jail Tuesday evening and bolt from the island before an appeals court can meet to consider keeping him incarcerated.

Giordano, 50, could be back home in Gaithersburg, Md., Wednesday morning.

The island's prosecutors have appealed his release, but Aruba's three judge appeals panel's weekly meeting isn't set to begin until 11 a.m. Wednesday. Taco Stein, Aruba's solicitor general, is scrambling to convince the appeals panel to convene sooner than Wednesday morning.

Giordano is the only suspect in Gardner's disappearance in Aruba during their week-long trip in August.

Giordano's release after 116 days in jail comes after an Aruban judge threw out the prosecutors' request to keep him detained without charge for an additional 30 days. Aruban prosecutors do not have a body, a murder weapon, and have not locked down a definitive motive for Giordano to kill Gardner, but have argued they have enough circumstantial evidence to keep him in an Aruban jail.

Giordano's lawyer, Jose Baez, told ABC News that his client would be willing to comply with any extradition order if needed at a later date.

Aruban authorities told ABC News that they would seriously consider extraditing Giordano if they discover any hard evidence against him.

If Giordano leaves the island, he will leave behind his laptop and Blackberry. Investigators tell ABC News that they are just beginning to pore through the computer, as well as Gardner's iPad -- both of which contain documents that shed light on the relationship the two had -- which Giordano has previously said was almost entirely physical.

Baez, who gained fame this summer when he spearheaded Casey Anthony's acquittal on charges she murdered her 3-year-old daughter Caylee, called the conditions that led to Giordano spending over 116 days in an Aruban jail disastrous.

For those four months investigators grilled Giordano on what they called his suspicious response to Gardner's disappearance. He has maintained that she was pulled out to sea while they were snorkeling off the Caribbean island after a day of drinking.

According to Stein the investigation will continue whether Giordano is held in Aruba or not.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Sep202011

Casey Anthony's Dad Shook with Anger over Her Acquittal

Hand Out/ABC News(LOS ANGELES) -- Casey Anthony's father shook in disbelief when he realized that his daughter was about to be acquitted of any role in the death of his granddaughter, Caylee.

George Anthony said on the Dr. Phil show Monday that he was disappointed by the verdict in his daughter's murder trial.

"I remember I started to shake... I got this deepness feeling in my heart... Then the second charge came through not guilty.  I'm like, ok, she'll be in jail for a while" for her role in Caylee's death.

"Then the third one came through for aggravated child abuse [and] nothing... I'm like, oh my God, my daughter is going to walk out of here and I'm never going to know about Caylee," George Anthony told Phil McGraw.

Casey Anthony was acquitted of murder and found guilty of lying to police.  She was released from Orange County Jail on July 17.

"I didn't want to see my daughter put to death.  I wanted her to be held responsible for my granddaughter and I still do," he said.

Casey Anthony's mother, Cindy, said that she prayed for her daughter to be acquitted of all charges.

"I was elated when all three of them came not guilty," Cindy Anthony told McGraw.

George Anthony grimaced as he rewatched defense attorney Jose Baez's opening statement that accused him of molesting his daughter.

"That was an extreme low blow," George Anthony said.  "I wanted to go and jump over this little railing…and I wanted to confront Mr. Baez… I haven't cared for him from day one."

George Anthony said that he does not believe that Caylee drowned and believes Baez was playing on the emotions of his wife and son, Lee Anthony.

"My whole take is that Cindy's emotional state was played, her heart was played the whole time through Jose, through my daughter," George Anthony said.  "I wanted my daughter to have a good defense, but I also didn't want to be played like a fool."

George Anthony previously told McGraw that he believes his daughter overdosed Caylee so that she could go out partying.

Baez challenged those claims on The View Monday.

"I think it's preposterous and it certainly doesn't surprise me that he's making these statements.  Now his recent claim that Casey and someone else may have drugged Caylee, it's sad that he would say that.  Caylee died on a Monday afternoon... If you live in Orlando, you know there's not many parties on a Monday afternoon," Baez said.

George Anthony said that he felt Baez turned him into a target to create reasonable doubt in the mind of the jurors.  Cindy Anthony told McGraw that Casey Anthony's defense team could have attacked the Anthony family even more, but she believes her daughter made Jose Baez hold back.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Aug232011

Casey Anthony Loses Probation Appeal, Must Come Out of Hiding by Friday

Red Huber-Pool/Getty Images(ORLANDO, Fla.) -- Casey Anthony, the woman acquitted of murdering her daughter Caylee, lost an appeal Tuesday and was ordered to come out of hiding and report to a probation officer by this Friday.

Anthony, 25, could report to a probation officer any time before Friday. She's been in hiding since her release from Orange County Jail on July 17.

Her defense attorney, Jose Baez, said earlier this week that she had returned to Florida to await the fate of her probation appeal. A three-judge panel on Florida Court of Appeals settled the issue Tuesday by rejecting her appeal.

Anthony was ordered earlier this month by Judge Belvin Perry to return to Florida by Aug. 26 to serve a year's probation stemming from a check fraud conviction. Before her first-degree murder trial, Anthony pleaded guilty to stealing checks from best friend Amy Huizenga during the time that Caylee was missing.

An error was made on the written sentencing documents in that case, which allowed Anthony to serve her probation while in jail awaiting trial for murder. Judge Stan Strickland, who presided over the check fraud case, had intended for her to serve probation once she left jail.

Shortly after Judge Perry issued his order for her to report to a probation officer, Anthony's defense team filed an appeal. They claim that forcing Anthony to serve probation again is an "illegal sentence" and puts her in harm's way, especially if she must serve the probation in Florida, since she has received death threats after her acquittal.

In the written order filed by the Fifth District Court of Appeals Tuesday, the judges reprimanded Anthony and her defense team for turning the sentencing process into a "game."

"The petitioner and her lawyers were well aware that her probationary placement was not to begin until her release from confinement. The petitioner may not, under these circumstances, take advantage of the administrative error of the Department of Corrections," the order states.

Defense attorney Baez and the rest of Anthony's team have previously admitted to knowing that the judge's original intentions were for Anthony to serve probation outside of jail, but argued that the Department of Corrections allowed Anthony to serve the probation and that the jurisdictional timeframe had passed to address this issue.

The attorney general fired back, arguing that Anthony never really served probation since it was served while in jail.

"Legally, it is clear that a defendant cannot serve probation while incarcerated," Attorney General Pamela Bondi and Assistant Attorney General Wesley Heidt wrote in a response filed in the Fifth District Court of Appeals on Aug. 22.

"The court was simply attempting to ensure the previously imposed, and never served, probation was begun...upon her release, she should have reported," the response stated.

Baez is being investigated by the Florida Bar for his handling of Anthony's sentencing, ABC affiliate WFTV reported.

It's unclear if Anthony will be able to serve the probation out of state or what measures will be taken to protect her. Throughout her trial and following her acquittal, she's received death threats.

When issuing his order to report to a parole officer earlier this month, Perry alluded to her safety.

"This court is very mindful that it is a high probability that there are many that would like to see physical harm visited upon the defendant," Perry wrote in his Aug. 12 order for Anthony to return to Florida.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jul192011

Defense Attorney Denies Casey Anthony Landed at Orlando Airport

Red Huber-Pool/Getty Images(ORLANDO, Fla.) -- Video that showed a Casey Anthony look-a-like hurrying from a private plane at an Orlando airport was an attempt to play a joke on media outlets that have tried to track down Anthony's whereabouts.

The plane is owned by Todd Macaluso, a former member of Anthony's defense team. The same plane is believed to have whisked Anthony away after her release from jail Sunday and has been sighted in several cities since her release.

Anthony's lawyer Jose Baez told ABC News that the woman at the Orlando Executive Airport Tuesday was not Anthony and Macaluso is "fooling around."

After leaving jail Sunday, Anthony was believed to have left the area on Macaluso's private jet. That jet has been tracked to Prescott, Ariz., and to a private airport near San Diego with media speculation that Anthony may be hiding out in those areas.

The Macaluso jet landed back Tuesday at the Orlando airport where the three people scrambled from the plane and into a building.

ABC affiliate WFTV reported that three people were seen running from a plane at the airport. One person was wearing a pink T-shirt and jeans. That outfit was similar to the pink polo shirt and jeans that Anthony wore when she departed jail with Baez on July 17.

With only a few hundred dollars in donations from strangers to her inmate account and no family support after her defense -- which made her mother look like a liar and painted her father and brother as abusers -- Casey Anthony's whereabouts have been a mystery.

When Anthony left jail on Sunday, her defense team tried to recruit her parents George and Cindy Anthony to act as decoys, according to the parents' lawyer. The parents refused to act as decoys, the lawyer said.

Anthony, 25, was sentenced to four years for lying to investigators about her two-year-old daughter Caylee's 2008 disappearance and death, but she had already served three years and was credited for good behavior. Aside from the jail time, Anthony was fined $4,000.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Jul172011

Casey Anthony Released From Jail

Mark Wilson/Getty Images(ORLANDO, Fla.) -- Casey Anthony was released from an Orange County jail early Sunday morning in Orlando.

The recently acquitted 25-year-old, who had been accused of murdering her two-year-old daughter, was escorted out of the jail by two sheriff's deputies armed with semi-automatic rifles and was driven away by her attorney, Jose Baez, without speaking to anyone in the mob of reporters and demonstrators.

Hundreds of protestors, carrying signs reading "Travesty of Justice," "Justice for Caylee ... Bella Vita" -- a reference to the tattoo Anthony got after Caylee went missing -- and "Don't Be a Part of Blood Money," had gathered outside the jail to witness her release.

Jose Baez, Anthony's lead attorney, told ABC News she will not be going to stay with her parents and will not be going to Puerto Rico, which had been widely rumored.

He also said that while security is an immediate concern because of public outrage at the not guilty verdict, there are no plans for Anthony to alter her appearance with plastic surgery.

According to the sheriff's department, the plans for Anthony's release were that she would be driven by jail guards to a secret location away from the grounds, but after that she would be on her own.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jul072011

Casey Anthony to Be Released from Jail Next Week

Red Huber-Pool/Getty Images(ORLANDO, Fla.) -- Casey Anthony, acquitted of killing her daughter Caylee, will be released from jail next week, her attorney told ABC News.

Anthony, 25, was ordered Thursday to remain in jail after Judge Belvin Perry sentenced her to four years in jail and a fine of $4,000 for her conviction of lying to law enforcement officials.

The judge gave Anthony four consecutive jail sentences, but she has already served nearly three years and would get credit for time served as well as good behavior. Perry originally estimated Anthony could be freed in late July or early August, but Anthony's attorney Jose Baez told ABC News that she would be released July 13.  Late Thursday, Orange County Corrections released a statement saying that Anthony's projected release date had changed after a "detailed recalculation" to July 17.

Anthony entered the courtroom with her long hair down, as opposed to the tight ponytails she has been sporting throughout the trial. Visibly relaxed before the sentencing, Anthony chatted with her attorneys, laughed and even winked a few times. As the proceeding began, her demeanor became much more reserved and she looked downcast as the judge read the sentence.

Anthony will have to return to court again soon because the state of Florida has filed a motion to recoup some of the costs of investigating her case.

She also faces a defamation case. Anthony was served while in jail with a subpoena from the real Zenaida Gonzalez, a name Anthony used to describe a fictional nanny she claimed stole her child.

Anthony admitted in court that the kidnap story was a lie, and Gonzalez now wants that on the record for the libel case she has launched against Anthony.

"I want the truth to come out. I want them to know that I didn't do anything wrong," Gonzalez told ABC News Orlando affiliate WFTV.

There is a video deposition in the case scheduled for July 19.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jul072011

Exclusive: Casey Anthony's Attorney Gains Public Recognition

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Just a few months ago Jose Baez was a scrappy, unknown lawyer practicing in South Florida.

Now, after a jury acquitted his client Casey Anthony of murder charges in one of the more riveting crime stories in years, Baez is one of the most celebrated attorneys in the country.

"After I heard 'not guilty,' I had a moment,'' he told ABC's Barbara Walters in an exclusive interview.  "I thought, 'My life is going to start to change.'"

And it did in a flash.  On a trip Wednesday that took him through Orlando's airport and then Newark Airport, fellow travellers recognized and cheered Baez, holding up newspapers with his face on the front page and hailed, "Jose."

The security agent who checked his ID in Orlando's airport turned to colleagues and said, "Oh my God, that was Jose Baez."  His flight attendant recognized him, too, and leaned over to offer congratulations.

Some in the press have dubbed Baez the next "Juannie Cochran," putting a Latino spin on the name of the colorful attorney who successfully defended O.J. Simpson.

Casey Anthony said in jailhouse visits with her parents that she found Baez through referrals from fellow inmates.  During the trial, Baez had to listen as the prosecution played jailhouse tapes of Casey Anthony's parents and her brother questioning her decision to hire him.

During the six weeks of testimony in the Anthony trial, Baez was ceaselessly second-guessed by trial watchers and the media.  Baez had only been practicing for three years and had tried one death penalty case before he was hired by Casey Anthony, though he has handled five murder cases.

"I've never had anyone convicted of first degree murder," he points out.

When the jury acquitted Anthony of all of the most serious charges, convicting only on four counts of lying to authorities, Baez hugged his client.

"I was ecstatic for Casey.  I was happiest after I heard the first 'not guilty,' because at that point I had saved her life," he told Walters. "The other 'not guiltys' were a bonus."

Asked by Walters if the verdict meant justice for Caylee, he said, "Caylee would never have wanted her mother to suffer this way.  And Caylee certainly would never have wanted her mother to die."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jun302011

Analysis: Did Casey Anthony's Lawyers Save Her from Death Penalty?

Red Huber-Pool/Getty Images(ORLANDO, Fla.) -- Casey Anthony's defense team rested its case Thursday after trying with mixed success to implicate her father and meter reader Roy Kronk in disposing of the body of Caylee Anthony, two men who are at the center of their strategy to save Casey Anthony from a death sentence.

Casey Anthony, 25, is charged with killing her two-year-old daughter Caylee, and conviction could result in her execution.

The most debated tactic of her defense team was to keep her off the stand.

"The jury will be given very specific instructions, you cannot hold it against her that she's not testifying," said ABC News legal analyst Dan Abrams. "But I am certain these jurors are going to be thinking, 'Why didn't she testify?'"

In his opening statement, defense lawyer Jose Baez laid out a strategy that began with the bombshell claims that Caylee drowned in the family pool, that her body was found by her grandfather George Anthony, who then helped dispose of the body.

Casey Anthony lied for months about her daughter's death because she was "trained to lie" through years of sexual abuse by her father and brother, Baez stated.

Baez may have succeeded in raising doubts about George Anthony's integrity by having Krystal Holloway testify on the last day of the defense. Holloway claimed to have had a year-long affair with George Anthony and told the court that while people were still searching for Caylee, George Anthony confided to her that "it was an accident that snowballed out of control," indicating that he knew Caylee was already dead.

George Anthony laughed at the suggestion that he had an affair with Holloway or that he hid Caylee's body. While her testimony may have raised doubts about the general truthfulness of George Anthony, it did not address the specific claim that he buried Caylee's body.

The defense also did not succeed in establishing its claim that George Anthony molested his daughter. The issue was barely raised in the trial and when it was, George Anthony sharply denied it.

"There is not an iota of evidence that he took the body or that he abused his daughter," Abrams said.

However, there is no DNA evidence linking Casey Anthony to Caylee's remains, and the cause of death is "homicide by undetermined means." The defense claims that without knowing the exact way in which Caylee died, there's no proof that Caylee was murdered. They claim her death resulted from an accidental drowning.

"The strongest argument is that there's almost no proof that this was a murder as opposed to an accident," Abrams said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio